Be good for God’s sake …
The Christmas House gives for the 38th year to families living well below the poverty line
EVERETT – For the past 38 years, Christmas House has made the wishes of Snohomish County families come true. From its humble beginnings in 1981, the “store” operated out of the garage of late founder Roy Fraser and provided handmade gifts to over 100 children.
The nonprofit organization is now run by more than 800 volunteers, who keep the spirit of giving alive in the same way the effort has done for nearly four decades.
“(Last year) we served over 7,200 children from over 2,400 families in Snohomish County,” said Gregg Milne, president of Christmas House.
The Christmas House will again be hosted at the Everett Boys & Girls Club, 2316 12th St. in Everett. It will open on Thursday December 5 and will operate Tuesday through Saturday until the end of its season on December 21.
The donation-focused store relies on community contributions to help local families. Donations can be made in a number of ways; new or handmade gifts, fundraising by mail or online, even volunteer time.
“The high school students will come and volunteer. They like to do it and also get credit for their community service hours at school, ”Milne said. “We only have a few places left (for volunteers), we are almost full. It fills up pretty fast, people really love to volunteer.
In addition to more than 30 donation sites, many school districts in the county are also helping.
“Schools are a big supporter, they do a variety of things,” Milne said. “They organize toy drives, book drives and they’re great at getting the message out to families so they have enough information.”
For 15 years, Everett’s North Middle School has helped Christmas House collect gifts as a service project for Honor Society students.
“Honor Society students start showing off like Santa Elves in the halls of the school the first week of December and receive donations from staff and students,” said Kenleigh Kelly, North Middle School Honor counselor. Society. “In the past three years alone, we’ve been able to collect and donate over 1,600 stuffed animals, books and new, lightly used toys for the Christmas House. “
Not only do students help other members of their community, they also get first-hand insight into a large-scale nonprofit organization.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to give and learn,” said Kelly.
Christmas House has a few rules, but the volunteers are the strictest in keeping children or infants out. The reason is that parents are supposed to surprise their children with the gifts.
No daycare is available on site.
The store also has a family section, stocked with decorations and wrapping paper.
To shop, you must be a resident of Snohomish County living 150% below the federal poverty line.
For a family of three, this is a family that earns $ 31,995 per year or less, or $ 615.29 per week or less.
You must bring photo ID, provide proof that you are the custodial parent of each child you are shopping for, provide proof of your spouse or other (if applicable) living in the household to count them in family size, and provide proof of your income. Current DSHS forms and pay stubs can provide much of this information.
The Christmas House is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. until December 21. It is closed on Sunday and Monday.
For more information on buyer qualifications, volunteer registration, or how to donate, visit Christmas House online at www.christmas-house.org or call the message line at 425-338-2273.
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